How the Ketogenic Diet Can Improve Your Sex Life
The ketogenic diet has been the talk of the town for quite some time now. A growing number of people testify to the wonders it offers. This diet is effective, not only in attaining a specific goal weight but also in improving one’s health.
It offers promising benefits, and some keto dieters claim that this diet is good for their sex life. But how does a low-carb, high-fat diet change your sex drive?
Let’s Talk About Libido
Libido is a word used to describe a person’s desire for sexual activity. A person’s libido can be affected by several things, there are psychological factors like stress to social factors such as family or friends. Our bodies also produce hormones, like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, that make us crave sex. So how are the ketogenic diet and your libido related?
Various studies and researchers claim that following a high-fat diet leads to an increase in estrogen and testosterone. Estrogen is the dominant female sex hormone but has to be balanced with proper testosterone levels in women.
Men’s sexual functions are driven primarily by testosterone levels and while there is a U shaped curve to how effective it is, for the most part, more is better. (within limits)
High levels of estrogen promote vaginal lubrication and ultimately, increase a woman’s sexual desire. On the other hand, testosterone is the fuel for man’s sex drive. It also works in sperm production and the development of male sexual characteristics.
The basis of almost every sex hormone (and every non-sex hormone) in the body is cholesterol. A diet with adequate amounts of cholesterol gives the body what it needs to create sufficient hormones for normal sexual function.
Our cultural fixation with low-fat diets are why Testosterone replacement therapies are such big business right now. You almost can’t turn on a male-centric radio or TV show without seeing ads for it. To stress this point, healthy fats help boost sex hormone levels.
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With Keto, You Have More Energy
According to The 2010 National Sleep Foundation survey conducted among cohabiting respondents revealed that 25% are too tired to have sex. Everyone seems to be tired most of the time because of all the responsibilities that we have in life that at the end of the day, we set aside everything including sex, just to have some sleep. Makes perfect sense right?
How can one have enough energy when you’re not consuming the right kind of food? Sure, munching on your favorite sweets does make you happy but when the body has more sugar than it’s used to, it usually results in a sudden drop in energy levels due to higher insulin levels storing energy n the body instead of making it available for use. This brings in fatigue, difficulty in concentrating and even a low sex drive.
Thankfully, the keto diet plan is focused on consuming meals that are low in carbs but high in other macronutrients, such as fats and proteins. According to Anna Cabeca, D.O., a sexual health expert in Georgia, following a ketogenic diet steadies blood sugar levels and helps a person become more focused, fulfilled, and energized.
Ketones work to protect your body’s mitochondria which are the powerhouses of the cell. It absorbs nutrients, breaks them down and distributes energy molecules for the cell. Overall, the keto diet can make you more energetic in life, thus spicing things up when it comes to your sex life.
Lose Weight, Win in Sex
Needless to say, attaining a healthier weight does promote confidence in your performance. Besides, there can be certain physical conditions that co-exist with obesity that restrict a persons ability to enjoy sex to the fullest. Having diabetes, for example, can result in difficulties in getting aroused, having an orgasm, or obtaining an erection.
In 2015, one study published in Obesity Reviews revealed that ketogenic dieters claim to have less hunger and cravings. A professor in the department of human sciences at Ohio State University, Jeff Volek, Ph. D., RD, also added that in this diet, calorie restriction is easier due to appetite control thus resulting in weight loss. Through the years, different studies have been conducted and revealed how beneficial the ketogenic diet is for weight loss.
If your weight is getting in the way of your sex life, then the ketogenic diet could be your solution. This diet increases one’s energy levels which can make a person more active, especially in the sexual aspects of their lives.
Let’s face it – losing weight brings a spike of confidence in ourselves. When we feel good about ourselves, our partners can feel it too. Having enough self-confidence is not only beneficial to you alone, it will also bring your partner sexual satisfaction, as well.
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I’m Following Keto But Feeling No Libido
You’re watching what you eat but still not feeling the heat for sexual activity. Why? Here are some possible reasons:
You’re Still in Transition to Ketosis
Our bodies take some time to adjust to any kind of diet. The usual energy supply of our body comes from carbs and glucose. When you decide to follow the keto diet, your body will now change over to using stored fats and burning ketones for fuel.
Transitioning into ketosis can bring unwanted effects to a person’s body. Some may even experience the keto flu which can bring on such symptoms as nausea, heart palpitations, muscle cramps and in other cases, low libido. During your body’s transition to ketosis, you may not feel like doing anything.
You may feel tired or exhausted and this affects your sex drive. The good news is the transition to ketosis will not last forever. This transition may take 48 hours or up to one week – depending on your body type, carbohydrate intake, and activity level.
You’re Not Consuming Enough Calories
A keto diet plan should consist of about 50-75% healthy fats, about 20-45% protein, and about 5% of carbs. This is the basic breakdown for those who want to start keto. Eventually, a person may adjust the numbers to see what works best for them.
It is important to take note of the calories you’re consuming. This helps your body have enough energy supply so that it can function well. Without the right amount of calories, your body begins to slow down your metabolism.
This may result in your body holding on to extra fat and later on lead to starvation. Not having enough calories will not only affect weight but can also bring your sex drive down as this disrupts your hormones.
Blame It on the Alcohol
Many alcoholic drinks are loaded with carbs. It’s counter-productive to go into a strict high-fat diet but can’t let go of drinking alcoholic beverages. Yes, there are low-carb alcohol options for keto dieters but this may not be helpful when you’re trying to boost your sex drive.
In fact, men and women may have a reduced sexual response due to regular and prolonged drinking according to clinical psychologist and alcohol expert, Dr. Abigael San. Effects include men having challenges in getting and maintaining an erection, while women may have reduced lubrication, as well as, lesser to no orgasms at all.
In conclusion, drinking alcohol adds unnecessary calories to your diet, slows your fat-burning potential and, causes your sex drive to take a hit as well. You can start limiting the number of drinks you consume if you can’t avoid indulging in alcohol. You may also want to take note of your tolerance level as this may change while you’re on a keto diet.
If you’re showing signs of insulin resistance like obesity, elevated blood pressure, or Type 2 Diabetes, and you are also having issues in the bedroom, you should at least try a low-carb or ketogenic diet for a few months and see if it will work for you.
Cut out your carbs and sugar, (especially sugary drinks and fruit juices) grains and starches, and begin adding more animal products to your diet like red meat and eggs and see what happens. If problems persist, please consult with your physician.